Positions Outgrown

Sometimes  when the way in Christian Science seems very straight and narrow, we are tempted, like the Children of Israel, to sigh for the fleshpots of Egypt, and to look back with longing to our old ways of thinking and living, when so much less seemed to be required of us intellectually and spiritually. When one is confronted with a difficult problem it certainly does seem much easier to say, "It is beyond my understanding," than to set about the work of solving it, but since we know that sooner or later each individual must, with God's help, work out of seeming ignorance and confusion, and solve his own problem, we may well be thankful that we have made a beginning, and that it is impossible to go back to old conditions of thought.

Our Leader says, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" p. 240, "In Christian Science there is never a retrograde step, or return to positions outgrown." A little experience a short time ago helped me to see the truth of this statement. I wished to make a small water color sketch of a friend, and after beginning it, I thought I did not care to work long enough or thoughtfully enough to paint it in what I now see to be the true way of working, and I knew that my friend would be better pleased with a picture more quickly finished in my old way. I had left this old way because I had seen that it could never lead to truthfulness of expression, but at this time I looked back with longing upon what had seemed pleasing in the past, and forthwith attempted to return to it. After working for a while, I found that I had attempted an impossibility,—that I could not arrive at even the old results,—that having a higher ideal I must strive for it; and so I was forced to throw aside my poor beginning, take a fresh paper, and work from the true standpoint.

And so it seems very clear that as we gain more understanding in Christian Science, we must look for better results in all that we undertake. Though the ideal seems far beyond us it must always be our guiding star, and we can never lose sight of it if, working faithfully and honestly, we keep our vision clear. Then we shall have the joy of finding ourselves, each day, a little nearer perfection in all that we attempt.

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Who are We?
September 5, 1901

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